“Try it on Tuesday:” Gearzap.com

A post from Kelli:

Last Christmas, Jason (my boyfriend), got me a Kindle Fire.  I use mine mainly for browsing, Facebook, music, and “pinteresting.”  I’ve also found a few games that I like to play.  This summer when my Kindle quit charging, I made one quick call to the Amazon’s customer service.  I explained the problem, tried a few fixes, and had a new Kindle on it’s way within 5 minutes.  On a Saturday!

When I first got my Kindle, I just bought one of the first covers I found.  I bought it because of it’s “cute” factor, not taking into consideration that it is not humanly possible for me to keep white clean.  After checking mom’s out, I realized that it would be really nice to have the feature that props up the Kindle, which is ideal for watching Netflix.  I really wished that I would have thought a bit more about the pros and cons of the cover I bought prior to purchasing it.

So when the corners of my cover started unraveling and the band keeping the cover closed started stretching out, I decided to get a new cover.  I had just asked mom to get me one for Christmas when GearZap contacted us and asked if would would review their Kindle products.   After looking at the different covers, I decided upon this cover:

My new cover solved a lot of the problems that I had with my old cover.  My new cover can prop up to watch Netflix.  I also like the fact that it is a darker color, so it won’t show dirt as bad.  At GearZap, they have numerous different styles of covers that come in all colors.  The material of the cover can also be easily wiped off if needed.  My old cover also had a band that came around to keep the cover shut.  The new cover has a magnet clasp to keep the cover shut so that I don’t have to worry about the band stretching out.

Overall, I’m very excited bout my new cover and very happy with the prompt service GearZap provided.  Although they provided mine for the review, I did notice the prices were reasonable.

If you are looking for something that Jo’s been trying…check out this link…there is a deal there for you too!

What I’m Working On…

Guest Post from Kelli…

Mom and I work quite well together.  Things that she doesn’t like–math, pinning, arranging Perkiomen Daydreams blocks–are things that I love.  And things that I despise–quilting (on the old machine), designing, binding quilts–are things that she’s just fine with.  This had never been a problem…until today!

I was trying to overcome some of my designing issues, and mom told me that a lot of the quilts that we find really interesting have a secondary pattern after putting the original blocks together.  Using her wisdom, I designed a block with a simple center with an outside pattern to create a secondary pattern as she suggested, using navy blue, cheddar, and neutrals.  I brought it home and showed it to her.  We both were in love with the block and mom said that she would continue working on it and put it together to make it into a whole quilt design.

Fast forward a few days–Mom called me and told me to check my email because she had emailed me the block made into a quilt with a really cool border.  I opened up the email and saw what she came up with.  Needless to say I was amazed!  It was gorgeous!  Unfortunately though, we can’t show it to you quite yet as it has become a top secret project.  But don’t worry, we will show it to you as soon as possible.

After looking at the design closer, I began plugging the block and border block requirements into Excel to figure the yardage.  After a little bit of work, my jaw hit the floor.  This quilt that I was so excited about requires 2,592 triangles cut using a easy angle ruler from 1.5″ strips.  And this was after telling mom “Sure, I’ll make that quilt.  I really like little pieces.”  Needles to say I’m kicking myself now!

So for the past week, I have been cutting, ironing, cutting, and ironing some more.  And if any of you were wondering what 2,592 triangles cut using the easy angle and 1.5″ strips, here you go…

Amazing, right??

Stop back later and get a peek at what mom is working on and if you want to see what others are working on, check out Patchwork Times.

Sweet Celebrations Blog Hop: Giveaway and More!

Hello and welcome to the Sweet Celebrations blog hop.

We are mother and daughter team Jo Kramer and Kelli Kramer and we are proud to say we have three projects in this book, “Sweet Celebrations”.

We took this picture a year ago to the date back when we were frantically trying to get a picture of ourselves as part of our submission to the Sweet Celebrations book.  We wanted to take the picture with our beagles, Puppycat and Gracie.  It was quite the day!  They weren’t cooperating, and to be honest, we weren’t cooperating the best either.  Just recently Gracie passed away and there is a new puppy on our horizon…I can promise you, it will be a beagle.  In fact, we just picked out a new puppy.

We are casual country farm girls.  Notice we didn’t even dress up to get our picture taken.  The guys in our lives are farmers and work long hours.  We sew to pass the time.

As part of the blog hop, we were given a list of questions to answer.  We decided to split it up leaving some for Kelli to answer and some for Jo to answer.  Here’s Kelli’s questions:

What is your favorite part of quilting–fabric selection, piecing, quilting, binding–and why?  My favorite part of the quilting process is choosing the pattern, the fabric,and getting all of my fabrics ironed and cut.  When I make a quilt, I am very picky about the process.  I like doing all of the ironing at once, all of the cutting at once (and organizing all of my cut pieces into nice little piles), and all of the sewing at once for each step.  I don’t like to sew three blocks to see how it will turn out and then continue on.  Quilting is the part of the process that I like the least.  Binding is a bit of a bittersweet process for me.  I like knowing that I finished another quilt, but it’s a little bit sad because the quilt is finished.

We are a silly pair!

Do your pets/kids/spouse help of hinder your creative process?   I really don’t have too many hinderances when it comes to sewing or my creative process.  My beagle Puppycat usually sits in a chair in the corner of my sewing room carefully supervising.  Sometimes she sits on my sewing bench with me, but sometimes she decides that she wants to play fetch and will grab a toy and sit at my feet whining until I throw it, as she knows I won’t say no.  As my boyfriend farms, he usually doesn’t come home until 9 or 10 at night depending on the season.  By then my back is usually a bit achy and I’m ready for a break.  Overall, he’s pretty supportive as he has learned the hard way that sewing is my therapy.  When we moved last summer, he even gave up a dining room so that I could have a sewing room downstairs.  I think he’s a keeper!

If you and your dearest friend were going to dress as a horse, would you be the rear end so she could be the front?  Tell us how you became friends. This is a quite interesting question.  Me and my best friend/mom became quite close friends as she housed me for 9 months prior to making my appearance to the world and she’s been stuck with me ever since.  There were a few years when we didn’t get along/I thought I knew everything.  I swear though, the older she gets, the smarter she gets….or maybe the better I get at listening.  In regards to the horse situation, I would definitely allow her to be the head.  She’s better at presenting things in a more complete way and definitely thinks before she speaks.  I tend to be a bit more stubborn and drag my heels a bit.  I also have to be pushed, poked, and prodded to do things…like add borders to a quilt or finish a binding.  Over all though, we work quite well together.  Things that I don’t like doing are things that Mom enjoys and things that really bother her are things that I love doing!

We can make anything fun...HONEST!!

What sewing accomplishment are you most proud of? My biggest sewing accomplishment to date is being featured as a Moda Bakeshop Chef.  I had previously dabbled with designing, drawing, and coloring blocks here and there, but never really done anything serious.  One day I sent a copy of a quilt I had been working on to Mom and after much proding and poking (I’m the horse’s rear end remember) she made me submit it to Bakeshop.  When I found out that the quilt was accepted, I was so excited.  It validated the hard work I had put into working on matching up seams, keeping a true quarter inch seam allowance, and the design work I had done on the quilt.  When I finished the quilt and showed the Bakeshop readers what I had created, all of the kind comments and works of encouragement really made my day and I knew then that even though I was relatively new to quilting, it was something that I had done and done well.   Next on our horizon is a project that will be featured in a national quilting magazine.

Taken after a LONG day of sewing 1.5" strips together!

Here are Jo’s question:

What have I gained from the online quilting/sewing world?
Wow..how do I answer that question quickly??!? I can’t.  I can say that I have gained the best batch of friends a gal can ask for.  Serious.  When I recently purchased my new APQS Millennium,  I asked fellow blogger Judy from Patchwork Times for some advice.  She was right there and answered right away.  I have made connections with so many companies in the quilting industry through my Try in on Tuesday’s posts where I try out new products and publications.  I’ve got great reader friends who understand the sorrow I’ve been going through when my beloved beagle Gracie died.  I have friends who send me fabric scraps so I can keep working on my pineapple blocks.  I’ve met amazing friends who are Bonnie Hunter groupies like I am.  I got connected with the gals from Country Threads and had an opportunity to go to quilt market in Cincinnati with them.  I’ve gotten real close to fellow Moda Bake Shop Chef, Michelle from Michelle’s Romantic Tangle.  I’ve been blessed by sweet Ila who always is sending us goodies.  The list goes on and on…..From the time I started blogging 3 1/2 years ago to now, my circle of friends has grown globally and I LOVE that.  In our small home town there aren’t a lot of people who are quilt crazy like I am so all of you help me feel “normal” and I thank you for that.

We were asked to share a recipe with you.  We made our recipe quick and easy.  We know all you would love a yummy treat to celebrate the Fourth of July…this one requires little prep time so you can quickly get back to sewing.

Here’s the recipe.

Are you are wondering what our project is….well we don’t want to reveal too much…but we can say, these quilts are our designs.

You can actually make both quilts at once.  How neat is that?!?!

We also have another quilt in the book!  We had so much fun working on projects for the book.  Can you image?  We made the three quilts in just over a month!

Now here comes the best fun!!  All of you have an opportunity to win a Moda precut…we LOVE fat quarters packs (don’t you??) and your very own copy of the book, Sweet Celebrations.  Just leave a comment here telling me what your favorite Moda precut is.

If you want more chances to win and some great recipes, hop over to see some of the other featured Moda Bake Shop Chefs.

October 1 – StashBooks and Moda Cutting Table
October 2 – Melissa Mortenson and Melissa Corry
October 3 – Mary Lane Brown and Natalia Bonner
October 4 – Lissa Alexander and Corey Yoder
October 5 – Jane Davidson and Angela Yosten
***October 6 – Jo & Kelli Kramer (THIS IS US) and Stefanie Roman
October 7 – Sherri McConnell and Megan Jimenz & Heather Andrus
October 8 – Angela Mitchell and Ellie Roberts
October 9 – Katie Blakesley and Aneela Hoey
October 10 – Amy Smart and Angela Pingel
October 11 – Vanessa Christenson and April Rosenthal
October 12 – Moda Bake Shop
October 14 – Readers have until midnight on the 14th to comment on all the blogs for the giveaways.
October 19 –Winners announced on all the blogs.

Thanks for stopping by.

Talkin’ Turkey

Ever since Mom introduced me to Bonnie Hunter and her wonderful style of quilting, I have been hooked.  When I first started quilting, I refused to use anything but pre-cuts as I absolutely despised cutting.  I was only interested in the sewing of quilts and anything that involved too much cutting was just got in my way.  Once Mom introduced me to Bonnie’s “scrap using” system, I was hooked.  I eventually went on to cut all of my fabric according to the system.  I found that by cutting my fabric into the pre-determined strip sizes, I was removing a lot of the time that I would have had to spend cutting the fabric before starting a new project.

But when Mom first introduced me to string piecing, I was a bit skeptical.  It seemed quite tedious for my liking, however I then realized that I wouldn’t need to cut at all.  When squaring up my fat quarters, which I was accumulating at a rapid rate, I would be able to just cut a little bit wider strip and would have lots of strings that I could get started with.  I was then hooked!

Since then, I have completed (finished the middle of the top, no borders) many string quilts.  Below is my latest…

It was a bit windy when trying to take pictures, but I was able to get a nice view of the whole quilt.

I always like to take close up views to try to see the quilt from a different perspective.

I even got Puppycat to sit still for a picture with the quilt!  She doesn’t really do well with sitting still, but it’s a good thing that I snapped this picture when I did, because 2 seconds later, she was up and running around again!

That’s the first quilt top I have finished from Bonnie’s book String Fling: Scrappy, Happy and Loving It!, but I have more quilts from the book in my future.

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